2011 Purple Heart Outdoor Tour Motorcade Arrives at Opening Ceremony

On August 18th four Army Rangers, one NYC Fireman and Dan Hammack, founder of the Purple Heart Outdoor Tour arrived in Livermore for the 2011 blacktail deer hunt. This video shows the group arriving at Rao Ranch for the opening ceremony. The motorcade was organized and carried our by a Bay Area VFW group called the Warrior Watch Riders whose vow is that no soldier should come home unwelcomed.


The deer hunting begins today, August 19. Tomorrow the group will be hosted at the Livermore-Pleasanton Rod and Gun club, an informal barbecue and trap shoot. If you would like to attend the Saturday noon event, email me (just comment) and we’ll save a spot for you. You can bring your shotgun and join in the shooting.

The sponsors of tomorrow’s event are the Livermore-Pleasanton Rod and Gun Club, The Mule Deer Foundation and Cal Waterfowl.

First Muzzleloader Buck

My first buck came by bow and arrow in 1971. My first rifle-killed buck came in about 1997 or so. Last weekend I bagged my first muzzleloader buck.

I decided early on that in order to improve my competency with the muzzleloader, I needed to go all the way and kill a buck. With two A-zone tags available for me this year, I figured the first buck would be just that, the first legal buck that came within muzzleloader range.

Saturday morning was a bust, but Saturday afternoon I took stand at a pond where I’d seen a couple small bucks. In full camo with face mask, I sat against a good-sized boulder and waited. After about two hours, a couple young bucks laid down in the shade about 13o yards up-hill from the pond.

I waited them out. At 5 PM, the forked-horn buck stood, fed for a couple minutes and then trotted towards the pond. I raised the muzzleloader and steadied it on my monopod.

He came straight to the pond, turned broadside at 25 yards and walked into the six-inch deep pond. It was an easy shot and the muzzleloader did not let me down. Now I have some very tender venison in my frig. I’m proud of this buck, but he was just a baby.

This will be the smallest buck I kill for a while, but I'm pleased to have completed the first muzzleloader test. Next comes the search for a big one.

Hogs Gone Wild

Some of you may have seen the Discovery Channel program titled “Hogs Gone Wild.” I might not have ever watched it except for a personal interest established when the show agreed to pay me $75 for the use of one of my photos.

The photo in question was taken after a friend of mine bagged a giant boar a few years ago. Some time thereafter, I made a post on this blog entitled, “Largest Boar Ever Killed in the Livermore Hills?”

The original post is still in place, but here’s the photo in case you’re interested.

Photo as pictured on "Hogs Gone Wild."

The pig in question was definitely a very large boar and the program about large pigs in the wild puts the photo into perspective. I taped the hour-long show and watched it last night. Yes, there was my photo. (Where’s my $75.)

The program pursued pigs across the continental US, starting in California and traveling though Oklahoma and into Alabama. Using archery equipment, horses, lassoes, net guns, snares, ATV’s, heliocopters and hounds, the stars of the show harassed, tormented, hog-tied and/or arrowed many pigs, but none were as large as the boar in the photo.

In the end, the promoters of the show concluded what I concluded some time ago. If a pig lives in the wild, it is unlikely that it will grow to a size of over 250 pounds. Occasionally a large boar, that it very smart and has plenty of natural food and good escape opportunity will grow to the very large size of 350 pounds or more. The boar in the photo was estimated (by me) to be 400 pounds, but it was so large that we couldn’t get it to a scale. The weight is only estimated. We did eat a lot of pork.